Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Twilight Child by Sally Warner

The other book I picked up was one I just ran across on the shelf. I read the inside flap and decided to give it a shot. Twilight Child by Sally Warner is another story dealing with faeries and other mythical creatures like brounies and selkies. It was a book that delved into the history and mythology of Finland, which is not really a topic I would have come up with for a novel but it is a fantastic book.

The main character has the rare ability to see and speak to the mythical creatures she encounters, and because she crosses into many lands she meets several types. But they aren't the focus of the story, instead it is her journey from her homeland into Scotland, and the tale of how she lost her family and the land she loved.

Eleni is a good heroine for girls to look up to, though she can be a bit of a Pollyanna, looking for the best in everyone to a fault. The only fault I could find with the book is that it spends a lot of time with her voyage from Finland to Scotland, but then her time in Scotland seems to pass too quickly and with not enough detail. I wanted to know so much about all the people who help her there, but they don't get fleshed out nearly as much as I'd like. The book could have easily had an extra 100 pages to make these characters more alive and the plot wouldn't have had to change.

But I would still say that it is a good book for people who love fantasy novels to pick up, even if it is a bit off the beaten path.

The Ruby Key by Holly Lisle

I've decided to spend the summer at the library, because I honestly believe that the best cure for writer's block is reading. I also think my writing and my imagination have suffered lately because I haven't been reading as much lately.

For the first trip, I just browsed the YA section and picked up two books that looked promising. The first, The Ruby Key, is one I'd wanted to read for a while. The author, Holly Lisle, is a personal favorite of mine. I've had the pleasure of meeting her once, at a rousing Technicon a few years ago. I enjoy her work, and I think that The Ruby Key might be the best book of hers that I have ever read.

The world she creates is so beautiful, so layered, and so complete, that I felt at home there almost instantly. I admit, I don't actually enjoy stories about faeries all that often. I thought the series that contains Tithe (by Holly Black) was pretty enjoyable, but so many stories about the fae are about the courts and the politics. Court intrigue and politics don't really catch my attention most times.

But this novel didn't really have that problem. It had all the best things about faerie stories, and even some court intrigue, without any of the things that I normally find tiresome. I devoured it, refusing to go to bed until I'd finished it. When I got to the library the next day and a copy of the sequel, The Silver Door, wasn't readily available I got upset because I wanted to know so desperately what happened next.

I also want to add that I was very happy to find a story that had a cat who exhibited all the best and worst things about cats that I love. I'm very much a cat person, and the cat in this book was one that I'd love to sit and talk to. There were quite a few lines in the book that I think any cat person would love, so I would heavily recommend it to them.